Webflow is a pioneer in community building with a vibrant community of over 85,000 members around the world. From its inception, the company’s founders emphasized listening to its community of users and prioritizing their feedback to better serve them and help them to succeed. In turn, this laser focus on users helped Webflow grow and thrive as a business. And for Matthew Munger, the experience as a Webflow community member even turned into a job at the company.
In the webinar Intro to Common Room and Best Practices with Webflow, Common Room Head of Growth, Josh Grose spoke with Matthew about his role as a senior product expert and Webflow’s community approach, including the core aspects of a great community strategy.
Read on for insights from their discussion.
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Matthew, formerly a freelance web developer, joined the Webflow community to learn from and help others use Webflow’s no-code website building tools. He was such an active and valuable participant that the company offered him a role as a community moderator, then a quality analyst. Now, he’s a senior product expert tasked with educating users on how to use Webflow and advocating for community voices within the company.
At Webflow, community has been thoughtfully developed as a method to provide opportunities for members to succeed, and, at least in Matthew’s case, this even meant a role at the company!
According to Matthew, “It's really about having a journey with our customers and building the product alongside with them… Our mission is to empower everyone to build for the web, and so we believe that education is the learning component of that, and community is everyone growing together so we all succeed.”
Webflow counts over 85,000 developers, designers, entrepreneurs, digital marketers, and more as members of its community. In its efforts to nurture and grow the community, the team at Webflow puts four core competencies into action, including:
However, even with a great community strategy in place, community management isn't without its pain points. In his roles in community, Matthew has had to contend with the following challenges.
Limited visibility into the conversations happening across community channels which impeded efforts to engage with and support the community. For example, Webflow has channels where members can talk about everything from product features to API & automations to integrations (just to name a few). Matthew had no idea where the important or hot conversations were taking place, hindering his ability to provide a company response when needed.
Difficulty finding and sharing valuable community insights with peers and stakeholders. For example, community members frequently have feedback on the product or new wishlist features they’d like to see implemented. But systematically collecting these insights and sharing them with Webflow leaders and the product team proved difficult.
Manual processes of pulling community-related data which wasn’t just inefficient but untenable as the community continued to scale. For example, Matthew decided responsiveness was key for him to track to ensure members’ questions are addressed quickly. But response times and activity can change weekly, so he constantly tried to collect and analyze these metrics manually, which was laborious and inefficient.
These challenges drove Matthew to search for community management tools that could help him execute on Webflow's community strategy, drive value for members, and allow the community to blossom.
In his search for ways to better serve the Webflow community, Matthew found Common Room.
Common Room provides a single source of truth for your community—manage programs, coordinate outreach, and nurture relationships with members, while also proving the ROI of community by tying activity and engagement to business outcomes.
“I didn't know that community tools actually existed or were kind of an emerging area. And when I found them, I was so happy and so pleasantly surprised. I was like, ‘this is exactly what we need in order to get a holistic view of our community across all the different sources.’”
Matthew understood Common Room was the right solution for his community team as it addresses the four core aspects of Webflow’s community strategy: program execution, engagement, measurement, and internal advocacy.
Matthew gets a lot of use out of Common Room’s ability to surface hot topics and sentiment. The Webflow community is active across a number of channels, including Discourse, Slack, Twitter, StackOverflow, and more, and it can be a challenge for the team to manually monitor them all effectively. But with Common Room, they can quickly determine which discussions require attention or amplification.
“Common Room allows us to quickly see what our hundreds of thousands of community members are talking about across all our channels and the sentiment of those conversations. We can identify trends across topics or dive into specific topics to get a better understanding of the prevalent conversations in the Webflow community.”
Common Room also gives a read on community sentiment which he describes as “mind-blowing,” saying that the views into the community are empowering for him and his team.
Still, one of Common Room’s greatest contributions is to the community itself. By leveraging insights garnered from the growth platform, the company can make informed decisions and product improvements so that Webflow’s product better serves its users.
Matthew’s colleague Vikas Bhagat, Head of Product Marketing at Webflow, uses Common Room to find and take action on these product insights: “At Webflow, we’re in constant conversation with our community to build products that they’ll absolutely love. Topics in Common Room give us an easily consumable view of community feedback on product launches and events, so we can quickly iterate to ensure we’re delivering the best possible solutions for our customers.”
Matthew also finds Common Room’s reporting features particularly effective and helpful in articulating program scope and value. Previously, he relied on manual collection and spreadsheets to analyze data related to community engagement and responsiveness. But now, these insights are readily available in Common Room.
“It was a lot of manual work to kind of track all this, and now we just open the reporting dashboard and it's right there. It’s easy to measure and then communicate out to the rest of the team.”
Finally, Matthew sees Common Room as the perfect tool for aggregating and sharing knowledge from the community with colleagues within the company. Whether it’s feedback on updates or product hiccups, company insiders can have a much better understanding of the value of community as a result of Common Room.
“By sharing the data points and insights, getting folks involved, and leveraging tools like Common Room we can get everybody rowing in the same direction.”
The platform provides reliable insights across all community channels, including member activity, product usage, community health indicators, and more. These insights allow community teams to nurture influencers and fans to power up product adoption and drive growth.
Robust reporting gives community leaders the ability to showcase the impact of their programs on the business, which helps secure additional resources for community programming and members in a virtuous cycle.